Can’t Log Into Your Mac? Try These 4 Tips


Instead of panicking, follow these troubleshooting steps and regain access to your Mac.

The first step to working on your Mac is to log into it. However, it becomes frustrating and time-consuming if you cannot log into your Mac. Being unable to log into your Mac is a common issue many Mac users face because of a forgotten password or other reasons.

You can try many troubleshooting solutions to unlock your Mac, whether or not your Apple ID is linked to your Mac. In this guide, we take you through the various troubleshooting steps to help you regain access to your Mac.

1. Reset Your Mac Login Password With Your Apple ID

Lockscreen Window showing password hint

If you have previously linked your Apple ID to your Mac’s user account, you can use your Apple ID to reset your Mac’s password. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Click on the question mark next to the password field on the login screen.
  2. Next, click the arrow next to the Restart and show password reset options.
  3. In the new window, enter your Apple ID email and password.
  4. Follow the prompts to reset your Mac login password.

However, if you don’t see the question mark beside the password window, press the power button till your Mac shuts down. Restart and follow the steps above. You can also reset your password through another admin’s password.

2. Boot Into Safe Mode

Safe mode is a diagnostic mode that helps you determine if a software problem or your Mac is responsible for a start-up problem on your Mac. However, you can also use safe mode to log into your Mac when you can’t log in as usual. Safe mode works by loading the essential apps needed to run your Mac.

Booting into safe mode is different on Intel-based Macs and Apple silicon-powered models. So, before you begin, find out if your Mac uses Intel or Apple silicon by following these steps:

  1. Go to the Apple menu on the menu bar and select About This Mac.
  2. On the open window, an item labeled Chip tells you your Mac uses an Apple Silicon chip. The item will be marked as Processor on Mac computers with an Intel CPU.

Our guide on how to boot your Mac into safe mode takes you through the entire process regardless of your Mac processor.

3. Factory Reset Your Mac and Reinstall macOS

macOS Recovery menu.

Malware interference and third-party apps are the common culprits that make it impossible to log into your Mac. Such cases require a more dramatic measure. You can try a software repair by reinstalling macOS, and if that doesn’t work, then a factory reset of your Mac is necessary.

Although a factory reset and reinstalling your macOS will leave your Mac as good as new, there is a crucial difference. Factory reset permits complete formatting of your Mac by erasing everything from your Mac, including all user data, files, and apps. In contrast, you can avoid losing your data by backing up and signing out of apps before reinstalling macOS.

4. Try Another Keyboard

iMac with keyboard, MacBook, and iPad on a desk

You can reset your password if you can’t log into your Mac because of an incorrect password. However, if you are confident that you’re inputting the correct password, but it still comes up as a wrong password, then the problem might be your keyboard’s input.

You can try any of the following troubleshooting solutions to fix your Mac’s keyboard input:

  • Restart your Mac
  • Clean your keyboard
  • Confirm that you are using the proper keyboard layout
  • As a last resort, try an external keyboard

Stay Connected With Your Mac

Not having access to your Mac can disrupt your workflow. Fortunately, you can try any of these troubleshooting tips to help resolve the issue.

However, if you still can’t log into your Mac after trying all these potential fixes, you can get expert assistance by contacting Apple Support or taking it to an Apple Store.


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